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Demography

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 287–297 | Cite as

Parental marital disruption and intergenerational transfers: An analysis of lone elderly parents and their children

  • Liliana E. PezzinEmail author
  • Barbara Steinberg Schone
Income Within and Across Families

Abstract

Although one of the most marked demographic trends observed over the twentieth century is the increased rate of divorce, relatively little research has explored the effects of these changing marital patterns in the context of an aging society. Using a sample of lone elderly parents and their adult children, we analyze the direct and indirect effects of marital disruption on four important dimensions of intergenerational transfers: coresidence, financial assistance, adult children’s provision of informal care, and parental purchase of paid care. Our findings suggest that divorce has deleterious effects on intergenerational transfers, particularly for elderly fathers. Remarriage further reduces exchange. Our results reveal that parents engage in lower levels of transfers with stepchildren relative to biological children. Moreover, intergenerational transfers are sensitive to characteristics of biological children but not to those of stepchildren. Taken together, these results suggest that exchange at the end of the life course continues to be adversely affected by marital disruption

Keywords

Family Structure Adult Child Informal Care Informal Caregiving Cash Transfer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hopkins Center on the Demography of AgingJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore
  2. 2.Agency for Health Care Policy and ResearchUSA

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